A Great Meal You Haven't Tried
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Sushiko is not new—it's served raw fish to the region since 1976. What is fresh (besides the fish) is the restaurant reintroducing diners to the elegance that comes from treating Japanese as a cuisine of subtraction and simplicity.
“Sushi has gone through a revolution,” Sushiko creative director and Tokyo native Daisuke Utagawa tells us. “People picked up on it in the ‘70s and ‘80s because of its health benefits, then came the roll craze.” Daisuke’s not a fan of treating sushi like a sandwich by packing in ingredients (looking at you, dragon roll), so he’s happy to see the pendulum swing back to the more traditional. The recently launched omakase program, which translates to “chef's choice,” is the perfect example.
The $90 tasting menu includes seven courses that prioritize ingredients and techniques (a $60 sushi-only omakase is an option). What looks like straight up salmon sashimi is actually salmon confit so tender it breaks off into segments in your mouth; uni is served tempura style with lime and macha salt; and a tray of edomae-style nigiri sushi features seasonal offerings from the sea. There is both a pull to the past and a nudge toward the future with innovative techniques. “Everything on the plate has a purpose,” Daisuke says. Including this dashi gelée that envelops yet another tongue of uni (pictured).
Sushiko's two executive chefs: brothers Piter (left) and Handry Tjan (right) are behind the new menu that launched in October 2014. We snapped them behind the sushi bar with Daisuke in the center. Piter and Handry were born in Indonesia but are passionate about Japanese culture and cuisine. “You don’t have to be Japanese to be a good sushi chef,” Daisuke tells us. “It only makes chefs hungrier to learn.” Their menu makes us hungrier to go back.